Who is Sharon O Brien and how did she become a star on Facebook?

There’s a new queen (or should that be, victim?) on Facebook tonight, it seems, as a girl named Sharon O Brien (possibly Sharon O’Brien?) has had her photos shared around and ‘liked’ thousands of times. The photos are said to show a girl, allegedly named Sharon O Brien, in her underwear.

Facebook and Twitter have a habit of picking up on random girls (this one seems to be British) and thrusting them into the limelight. Thousands of girls upload photos of themselves onto social media sites every day, and it’s a curious alchemy that decides which ones suddenly become hugely famous.

Most of the people talking about Sharon O Brien are saying how they wish she wasn’t getting so much attention, which of course only serves to increase her placing on the trending topics list, garnering her even more fame. It’s not clear what the girl herself thinks of all the attention, but given that she’s said to be underage, the whole thing raises more questions about the way in which young people can be exposed to the world by social media.


About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.


91 thoughts on “Who is Sharon O Brien and how did she become a star on Facebook?

  1. ARGH! Not another girl becoming famous for no reason whatsoever! She’s not even showing anything!

    Posted by LA Evan | November 14, 2011, 8:48 pm
  2. It’s so sad when these young girls become ‘famous’ like this. Social media is a whole new emotional burden on our kids, the likes of which we never had when we were young. I feel sure that one day a young girl (or boy) is going to end up losing their life because of something like this.

    Posted by Cynthia | November 14, 2011, 8:49 pm
  3. someone link it?

    Posted by yazmmm | November 14, 2011, 9:10 pm
  4. yeah link it cos its allover my fukin news feed x

    Posted by carrie | November 14, 2011, 9:21 pm
  5. its all about the likes

    Posted by robert lannon | November 14, 2011, 9:31 pm
  6. wheres she from?:/

    Posted by Nic | November 14, 2011, 9:38 pm
  7. possibly irish??

    Posted by monkeybackflip | November 14, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Posted by TROLL | November 14, 2011, 9:40 pm
  9. Apparently its not her posting them, its an ex

    Posted by Benji | November 14, 2011, 9:41 pm
  10. has anybody actually reported this page. This girl is 12 years old and the horrible comments that are been left. she could carry this stigma round with her for the rest of her life. Nobody knows what sort of mind she is in already. How many times have we heard of children hurting themselves after been bullied on facebook and other social networking sites. What is it going to take for people to stop and realise instead of judging. How would u feel if it was your daughter, sister, close friend!

    Posted by Jadiee Mahala Fairbrother | November 14, 2011, 9:45 pm
    • Exactly. At some point, someone has to come up with a way to stop this kind of thing from happening. And whoever posted those pictures, if it’s not the girl herself, has some explaining to do. Shouldn’t sites like Facebook do more to stop this kind of thing?

      Posted by Honor Blake | November 14, 2011, 10:08 pm
      • Ive reported it to facebook but feel disapointed that something hasnt been done straight away after all i did watch something not so long ago saying there would be 24/7 monitors for complaints to stop this sort of thing. Facebook need to take some responsibility and put more in place to stop this going on. i cant imagine how this poor girl is feeling and if most of my friends have already seen it, im sure it wont take long for it to get round to her family/school/teacher and the town she lives in. It makes me sick.

        Posted by Jadiee Mahala Fairbrother | November 14, 2011, 10:22 pm
        • This is so awful for the poor girl. I’m in New Zealand and I’ve already heard about this so just shows how this social networking can turn something like this into an international viral photo 😦

          Posted by NZ | November 15, 2011, 10:00 am
    • It said on her profile born in 1992, so shes 19

      Posted by Liv | November 14, 2011, 11:46 pm
  11. It’s a fake profile!!

    Posted by ReEce | November 14, 2011, 9:57 pm
  12. In fairness, she did bring me to your blog

    Posted by Darren | November 14, 2011, 9:58 pm
  13. She’s 12 years old!!!!!!

    Posted by Mikey King | November 14, 2011, 10:03 pm
  14. that’s a shame bet that’s not her real name. if it wasent her that put it up i hope the person who did gets cought and gets dun!!!!

    Posted by devils child | November 14, 2011, 10:18 pm
  15. People need to stop with this now its been over a hour young people who are bullied often self harm this is not a LAUGH i just hope she has a great family who will be able to get her through this !!!

    Posted by paige | November 14, 2011, 10:19 pm
  16. how old is this girl and its a bit sik putting pics up like this on fb !

    Posted by katie | November 14, 2011, 10:21 pm
  17. She doesn’t look 12, at all.

    Posted by Annette | November 14, 2011, 10:30 pm
  18. Something I didn’t really emphasise in the original post is that I really feel strongly that something should be done to stop this kind of thing from happening. In some ways, letting kids loose on social media is like letting them loose with a bottle of whisky. But I have no idea what can be done. The problem isn’t really Facebook, it’s that people find this kind of thing funny. Oh yes, and if she’s really 12 years old, then maybe you should think twice before ‘liking’ it…

    Posted by Sarah Bosdiccia | November 14, 2011, 10:33 pm
  19. https://www.facebook.com/groups/109852612463126/
    Please join and lets try and make something happen

    Posted by Jadiee Mahala Fairbrother | November 14, 2011, 10:36 pm
  20. its basically a joke.
    my friend made a status saying if it got enough likes he would post a pic of a girl he has on his phone and it just happened to be her.
    he has loads of friends on facebook and is obviously offensive to some people which made it popular.
    there are too many girls who post half naked, just look on tumblr.
    she shouldnt be getting half naked and taking photos anyway.

    Posted by ellie | November 14, 2011, 10:47 pm
  21. This is a prank that has got out of control. I cannot believe people are posting things on her pictures like “Omg, you are a slag” Doesn’t anybody think that this could lead to her commiting suicide? Absolute nasty little children trying to grab attention from the rest of the World by making somebody elses life a misery. I don’t want to see her body on my news feed being ripped apart by animals on the web. She should be left alone and these pages/groups/etc…should be shut down and reported. Not only does this effect her but also her family. What would her family think of this? And her?! You never know what damage this has caused and quite frankly the people who have put these pages up should be ashamed of their stupid, pathetic life. I also cannot believe that there are news stories about this! I am a journalist in the making and personally this is a step too far in any books and everything should be destroyed. I feel for this girl as I have seen this happen to many other girls, each to their own, trusting people, to then be back stabbed. You should all be ashamed if you’re liking pictures of hers and commenting on them. Personally, there is nothing wrong with posing in your underwear, every single girl does it every day. It’s not like she is naked it’s just seeing a girl in her underwear like I’ve said before. When you go to the beach what do you see girls wearing? Bikini’s! Sometimes they’re topless, sometimes they’re naked. Not one of you give a shit. Until a girl who is underage, is explioted across the web doing nothing wrong but what she thought were confidential pictures. How about you all take a look into situations like these and think to yourself what damage this is causing and support to report these bastards that are increasing peadophiles to enter such social net working sites as Facebook so they can have their way with her pictures.

    Posted by Guest | November 14, 2011, 10:48 pm
  22. Doesn’t she realise the risk she’s taking by using a cameraphone in a steamy bathroom? Her warranty will be invalid!

    Posted by Burybob | November 14, 2011, 11:02 pm
  23. ELLIE is this true?

    Posted by lex | November 14, 2011, 11:20 pm
  24. I found the image after one of my young friends commented on it, (another had a status about it being all over her news feed), I clicked report as bullying on the image as should any adult seeing it, not long later it was gone anyway.

    Her Profile had a DoB of 1992, she had 128 friends, and the one picture I saw had approx 1,800 likes and 6,000 comments, mostly malicious.

    18-19 or 12-13 as some people are saying, no-one deserves that kind of abuse, it’s horrific. I admit to inappropriate comments sometimes, I’ve called peoples pictures slutty, but a hate campaign on this level is just beyond. The fact is as previous posters have mentioned, she was clothed, only in underwear and side on, but still clothed, it was nothing explicit, it was definitely nothing worse than you would see down the beach or riverside in the summer.

    The problem is pathetic small minded bullies, almost 6,000 comments of lewd crap from boys from 13 to men in their late 40s and girls from the same age to older women insulting the girl and her looks, it really is people like this whom drive others to suicide.

    Posted by Richard Gledhill | November 14, 2011, 11:46 pm
  25. I heard it’s a government conspiracy

    Posted by James | November 14, 2011, 11:50 pm
  26. Everyone I have a solution for this Bull****, GET OFF THE F****** INTERENT,
    make a cup of tea,
    go to bed,
    or go outside… remember that?
    ta ta.

    Posted by nobody | November 15, 2011, 12:18 am
  27. This whole Sharon thing has gone too far!
    People abusing a poor girl, fair enough taking half-naked pictures wasn’t the most sensible idea, but still no-one knows that it was her who posted them. Under what circumstanced were they posted? An ex could want revenge? Or just to humiliate the poor girl.
    I hope people learn to be less judgemental and to stop ‘jumping the gun’.
    This is someones daughter, granddaughter, neice or sister everyone is drawing attention too.. How would anyone feel if it was their family member receiving offensive posts?

    Posted by unnamed321 | November 15, 2011, 12:23 am
  28. And I also think it’s rediculus how on twitter it was 3rd top trending in the UK and 7th worldwide.

    Posted by Hello | November 15, 2011, 12:55 am
  29. the exif data suggests the image is over 2 yrs old…why would a jealous ex post an image 2 yrs on?

    Posted by theexo51 | November 15, 2011, 12:57 am
  30. i blame the schools

    Posted by josh | November 15, 2011, 1:00 am
  31. Yeaahhh you guys this is something the Government are doing to monitor online bullying, it’s not a real profile it’s an actress. Good idea though, shows who thinks what…

    Posted by anon12345 | November 15, 2011, 1:29 am
    • All I can say is now the government know how many sick and twisted people there are in Britain alone. They should impose stronger restrictions, i dobt know what but they should.
      Also for all those people out there who do post pictures of themselves in their underwear or naked or whatever on social networking sites i don’t know who you are or how old you are but this obviously shows you how some idiots will react to that and it could possibly ruin your life. For those of you who are maybe goinf to do ir have a bit of respect for yourselves and just don’t post them for any reason.

      Posted by jamz94 | November 15, 2011, 3:12 pm
  32. I would hardly call having 30000 people shouting abuse at you ‘Fame’. A FAR more appropriate article would be about the effect of mass cyber bullying on this poor girl’s mental well being. This also has nothing to do with Facebook or any form of social media, its about the 30000 sick minded people shouting abuse at someone they have never even met from behind the safety of their keyboard.

    Posted by Rhys Hiscock | November 15, 2011, 3:25 am
  33. Dislike the ‘Journalist’ up there making presumptions about who posted the pictures and for what reason? No wonder the news is full of rubbish, if people just write what they think might be true.

    Posted by Justine | November 15, 2011, 9:07 am
  34. FFS. No one knows anything… This could all be farce, it could be her fault, it could be his fault, it could be my fault for all I know!

    Wait till it gets on the news before you hold grudges to peoples opinions on what happened.

    Posted by ben | November 15, 2011, 9:56 am
  35. Bloody hell people need to drop this! It was an online cyber-bullying scam deliberately posted via the Government to find out how bad bullying is now-a-days. It isn’t real, that girl isn’t real – she’s an actress who agreed to help. END OF !

    Posted by amyyma | November 15, 2011, 11:20 am
  36. Treat others how you’d like to be treated yourself.
    The majority of people in the world today are actually shocking to how selfish and absolutely nasty they can be.
    This is the last I’m giving a monkeys about this, because it really is so pathetic how everyones treating it like a big deal calling her name’s and that. Grow up and don’t be so judgemental until you know the actual real story from the person themseleves, and if they don’t want to speak to it then leave them alone. Why is it bothering you so much?

    Posted by charlotte | November 15, 2011, 11:54 am
  37. i think your all sad commenting and aruguing about ireland is or isnt in britain who cares she could hurt herself get a grip i dont know her atall i think your=s should all think about what shes going through :L:L

    Posted by ME | November 15, 2011, 2:46 pm
  38. This Sharon is not a real person, Anti bullying have set this all up to show how bad bullying is over the internet even when you don’t no the person! The girl ‘Sharon’ is a 19 year old actor. This all come about as its Anti bullying week and a poor girl in the USA really did kill herself after her ex posted pictures of her all over the web!

    Posted by Samantha | November 15, 2011, 3:16 pm
  39. Good post. It seems to me that just about anything will ‘trend’ these days. And somehow Danny Welbeck’s thigh strain goes almost unnoticed. What is the world coming to?

    Posted by Edward Fraser | November 15, 2011, 3:47 pm
  40. The Internet needs a T&C, People don’t realise that ANYTHING they upload CAN be shared with the WHOLE world.

    Posted by Trololol | November 15, 2011, 5:02 pm
  41. not sure if it’s true or not…. but ive reported most the pages and also emailed the ABA (anti bullying alliance) who confirmed to me that it isnt a HOAX done by them for anti bullying week nor do they know of any other organisation doing a hoax for anti bullying week. whether it’s a joke by a friend, it shouldnt have been put on the internet and people sad enough to start up group pages shouldnt have. its cyber bullying and maybe in this case she’s ok, but in many others around the world young people take their own lives because of it. if you’re bored and fed up…. phone a friend, read a book, watch tv…. dont start malicious rumours and laugh about it hiding behind your laptops.

    Posted by Jodie | November 15, 2011, 5:12 pm
  42. hahha i love how loads of these comments are debating whether ireland is part of/in britain, but seriously if all this is true, its absolutely disgusting to bully someone to the point that they would take their own life but i have also heard that it was an actor for some anti-bullying campaign, so im pretty confused :S

    Posted by Carla Beaton | November 15, 2011, 5:23 pm
  43. Nope its fake

    Posted by Bob | November 15, 2011, 5:32 pm
  44. I love lamp

    Posted by Chadzilla | November 15, 2011, 5:41 pm
  45. It was all for anti bullying week. It isn’t true. But other girls do kill themselves about it. You can all stop obsessing over it now. It was an actor, and it was to just make the selfish, gossip-obsessed ‘people’ of britain realise what cyber bullying does.

    Posted by Amy | November 15, 2011, 6:08 pm
  46. If there is one thing I’ve learned from the internet it is this…


    Posted by Menelaus | November 15, 2011, 8:17 pm
  47. well its was on the radio this morning actually………

    Posted by saff | November 15, 2011, 10:20 pm
  48. its a hoax, anti bullying week and all that, she’s not real, just a made up character designed to make teenagers think about the impact of cyber bullying

    Posted by Lottie Marsden (@LottieMarsden) | November 15, 2011, 10:53 pm
  49. It is amazing though whether its real or not that Facebook has the power to make a photo famous almost overnight. It does make you realise the power of Social Media and Internet Marketing and what it can achieve!

    Posted by Mick | November 16, 2011, 10:35 am
  50. this has become quite natural on facebook that somebody is trying to take attention in this way. I believe that if you can find the right angle, you can easily turn a terrible ugly woman into an average beauty:)

    Posted by yasingiraydemir | November 17, 2011, 9:24 am

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